Thanks for the advice
Q: I just wanted to express appreciation for a very knowledgeable and helpful staff member at the meat counter at Willy North. He’s helped me twice with recommendations for types and cuts of fish and beef, Most recently (4/7) he gave a good recommendation for beef to sub for pork in a taco recipe and they turned out great, despite my lack of confidence around cooking meat. Thanks!
A: Thanks for the compliment! I’ve shared it with the Meat Department at North and our employees to enjoy. Glad to hear you enjoyed your tacos! Have a great week.
-Kirsten Moore, Cooperative Services Director
Q: We’re searching for either chaga tea or powder but can’t seem to find it. Do you carry anything other than capsules in your stores?
A: We have Organic Mushroom Nutrition’s brand of Chaga Powder in 100 gram bags at our East and North stores, but it can be transferred to West if you prefer. Regarding tea, we have access to Buddha Teas brand, and that can be special ordered by a case of six at any of our sites. Let me know if you have any other questions or would like to set up a transfer or special order!
Thank you. -Angela Pohlman, General Merchandise Category Manager
Organic mattress construction
Q: Hello! My husband and I are devoted co-op members and I am writing with a funny question. We are planning on purchasing a kit to construct an entirely natural mattress using organic cotton and buckwheat hulls as filling. The company offers bulk organic buckwheat hulls in amounts that correspond with various mattress sizes. We are looking at ordering 210 lbs of organic non-roasted buckwheat hulls in order to construct a queen sized mattress. The company makes a specific recommendation to not seek local sources and order directly from their company, as they claim most sources of buckwheat hulls import from non-local sources and may also roast or “heat” the hulls, which I understand is problematic for this specific purpose. I feel uneasy about this! I generally make an effort to buy ALL local and organic foods, and purchasing this quantity of a crop feels like an opportune time to connect with a local resource. So, I’m checking in... is this the kind of custom order that the co-op might be able to help with? Do you have a local source for organic, non-roasted buckwheat hulls? Would it ever be possible for a co-op member to put in an order like this, if so? Thanks so much for all you do in this wonderful community!
A: Hope your week is going well!! That sounds like a fun and rewarding project! I had no idea that these kits are out there.= That’s really cool!! I own a buckwheat hull pillow and it is the best!! Unfortunately, I do not have a source for these, but I have a couple of people who might be able to help you find some:
Gilbert Williams, is the owner of Lonesome Stone Milling in Lone Rock, Wisconsin. His phone number is 608-583-2100. They produce flours for us, and they also have some buckwheat products, so he may know of a good source.
Andrea (Andy) Hazzard, is the owner of Hazzard Free Farm in Pecatonica, Illinois. Her phone number is 815-289-1431. She produces heirloom grains on her farm and may know of a good source for you.
I appreciate all of you kind words and questions!! I wish I could help you more.
If you do have some success in your search, I would love to hear about it, so we can help out the next seeker!! Have an awesome weekend!!
-Dean Kallas, Grocery Category Manager
Q: Hi Willy Friends! Just read about a new mango and I wanted to check if you have these: Honey mangos—they’re also called Champagne, Manila, or Ataulfo. Thanks!
A: Sorry for the delayed response. We do in fact carry this type of mango, and we currently have some in stock! This time of year is typically when we see the best quality, so I hope you stop in and grab some.
We sell them as Ataulfo mangoes, but they do go by other names. The Mango Commission recently has made a change that allows stores to market them as Honey Mangoes.
Thanks! -Max Wilke, Produce Manager—West
Q: Is there any corn or corn derivatives in the Willy Street Co-op brand L-Glutamine 500mg? What is the source for the Magnesium Stearate in it? Thank you!
A: Thanks for your question! There are no corn or corn derivatives in the Willy Street Co-op brand L-Glutamine. It is produced using a yeast to ferment tapioca starch. The magnesium stearate is from palm oil.
-Tim Ruddy, Wellness Manager—West
Seasonal options on the hot bar
Q: Hello! I am a frequent consumer of the delicious hot bar at Willy St East. I am so grateful to have wholesome + veggie options on the go (as another customer said in the reader last week). As someone who is very conscious of what I eat seasonally, however, I’m curious if the options will change as we head into the spring and summer season? The hot bar consistently features heavier options like root vegetables, noodle, and cheese based dishes that are great for winter, but bad for digestion as we shift out of our snowy hibernation. It’d be incredible to see a shift in options throughout the year depending on what the body needs for healthy digestion in all seasons!!
A: Thanks for your feedback regarding seasonal items on the hot bar. We will try to keep a seasonal mix on the hot bar to the best of our ability. We still like to have our ‘staple’ items on there, like Deepak’s Vegan Korma, Vegan Mac and Cheese, Enchilada Pie, etc. however, we have been trying to do more in-house production at East and incorporating seasonal vegetables as well as other things folks usually don’t see on the hot bar. Once the growing season starts, keep your eyes peeled for asparagus, ramps, and other vegetables as they become available.
Cheers, Dustin Skelley, Deli Manager–East
Q: Hello Willy Street Coop, I really love your Willy Street pre-made frozen pie crusts. I must not be the only one, because often they are out of stock! Any chance you will boost production so my quiche and pie dreams can be realized? Thanks.
A: Greetings from the Willy Street Co-op’s Production Kitchen! I am a supervisor here, and have been given the opportunity to answer questions such as yours regarding the availability of our pie crusts. I certainly understand the disappointment of finding that an item you enjoy is no longer available, and I am sorry that is the case.
Our pie crusts were great. They were made with real Wisconsin butter, organic non-GMO flour, and of course were produced right here at the Kitchen, until recently. The bad news is that they will not be returning for the foreseeable future, and there are several reasons for that, the primary being margin. We did a cost-benefit analysis, including to-the-penny calculations of labor and ingredients, on the margin earned per crust, and determined that it was no longer feasible to produce pie crusts in-house. I assure you, much effort went into this research, and further effort went to securing an acceptable replacement. The pies produced in our Bakery now use the same Wholly Wholesome pie crusts that are available at our retail sites, and I encourage you to try them for your needs. I believe they are an excellent product, consistent in quality and availability. Additionally, we would be more than happy to share our recipe with you to try at home.
I certainly hope you continue to make the trip from Whitewater to visit us, as I can guarantee that you will find something new to enjoy at the Co-op every time you do.
Best wishes for a happy spring from all of us at the Kitchen.
-Michael P. Tomaloff, Kitchen Supervisor
Falafel Mix ingredients
Q: Please ask Banzo to provide a more detailed list of ingredients for their Falafel mix. The last ingredient is “gluten free flour.” But that is not specific enough for people with allergies and intolerances to tell what is in their food. I am guessing that this is also not compliant with labeling laws. Given that I imagine Willy Street has considerable sway over their practices, I urge you to have them change this to list what flour is actually used. Thank you.
A: Hope your week is going well! I will ask Banzo to give a full disclosure on their Falafel mix gluten-free flour. I am surprised that was not in place on their product to begin with and I apologize for that oversight. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to let me know about this issue, so I can pursue it with them. Thank you for your comments! Have a great day!
-Dean Kallas, Grocery Category Manager
Q: When are the board meetings?
A: Thanks for asking! Board meetings are typically held on the third Tuesday of the month from 6:30pm–8:30pm. You can find the schedule on our website at www.willystreet.coop/events/board-of-directors or on page 2 of the Reader. Please let us know if there is anything else we may do for you.
-Kirsten Moore, Cooperative Services Director
Q:Please train deli staff to slice onions properly! Once in a while they are perfect. Most of the time, they are too thick. Thank you!
A: Thanks for the feedback about our onions. I have also noticed some pretty thick slices of red onion on our salad bar. I’ll talk to our prep cooks and make sure they start slicing them thinner. Thanks for the feedback!
Best Wishes, Dustin Skelley, Deli Manager–East